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Spurs select French phenom Victor Wembanyama first overall in 2023 NBA Draft

The San Antonio Spurs have owned the No. 1 choose within the NBA Draft thrice within the group’s storied historical past, with the earlier two choices leading to 5 NBA Championships.

The Spurs chosen David Robinson first total in 1987 earlier than taking Tim Duncan in 1997, with each gamers occurring to have Hall of Fame careers as San Antonio grew to become the envy of the NBA.

Victor Wembanyama talks to the media throughout 2023 NBA Draft week on June 21, 2023 in New York Metropolis. (David Dow/NBAE by way of Getty Pictures)

San Antonio is hoping its string of luck in deciding on first continues.


French phenom Victor Wembanyama grew to become the primary participant chosen within the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday as San Antonio begins its rebuild following 4 down seasons.

Wembanyama, a 7-foot-5 middle who has garnered extra consideration than any prospect since LeBron Jamesis the prize jewel of this yr’s draft class, tabbed as the following nice NBA star.

“For me, Saint Anthony is synonymous with successful,” Wembanyama mentioned, in keeping with ESPN. “When, on lottery evening, when the Spurs acquired the No. 1 choose, I used to be simply pondering, I used to be feeling fortunate that they acquired the choose as a franchise that has that tradition and that have in successful and making, creating good gamers. So, I actually cannot wait.”

Victor Wembanyama takes the floor

Metropolitan 92’s French middle Victor Wembanyama attends previous to the sport three of French Elite basketball finals between Monaco and Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 in Paris, on June 15, 2023. (Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP)

The 19-year-old instantly makes San Antonio some of the attention-grabbing groups within the NBA, regardless of the Spurs coming off a season by which they gained simply 22 video games, the least quantity of wins for the group for the reason that 1996-1997 season.


The expectations for the French star are sky excessive, although Wembanyama will not be fearful in regards to the hype.

Victor Wembanyama is the No. 1 pick

Victor Wembanyama poses for a photograph with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being chosen first total by the San Antonio Spurs in the course of the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 22, 2023, in New York. (AP Photograph/John Minchillo)

“I do not let all these items get into my head,” Wembanyama mentioned. “I’ve acquired such excessive expectations for myself that I am resistant to all these items. I actually do not care.”

Wembanyama is the right middle for right this moment’s NBA, capable of stretch the ground along with his taking pictures whereas with the ability to defend the rim and contest shooters.

Nikola Jokic, one other European middle, simply led the Denver Nuggets to an NBA championship as a giant man who forces defenses to protect him on the perimeter.

Victor Wembanyama plays for the Metropolitan 92's

Victor Wembanyama of Metropolitans in the course of the Betclic Elite Playoffs match between Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitan 92 (Mets) and Cholet Basket at Palais des Sports activities Marcel Cerdan on Might 25, 2023 in Levallois-Perret close to Paris. (Jean Catuffe/Getty Pictures)


Wembanyama is planning on bringing his model to the NBA stage because the Spurs look to place collectively a fast rebuild.

“You noticed me play at 13, and I’ve performed the identical,” Wembanyama mentioned Wednesday, per ESPN. “I have been taking part in like that. And actually, I am simply making an attempt to be myself. You mentioned I am a hybrid. It is simply I am myself.

“Nobody goes to cease me from dribbling the ball, bringing the ball up and taking pictures threes. No one goes to cease me from doing that. Though generally coaches in my profession would attempt to cease me from doing that as a result of they needed to win proper now. So, it was actually an on a regular basis combat to remain true to myself, and, yeah, that is one thing that I am by no means going to lose, for positive.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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Printed : 2023-06-23 00:11:51

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